While advances in science and special effects have resulted in prosthetic limbs and latex masks that look realistic, there's always been the problem of simulating the sensitivity of skin. Well it looks like that little problem has just been solved, thanks to Ali Javey from University of California. The electrical engineering and computer science professor has developed a method for creating nanowire electronics that has as much sensors as you have nerve endings.
Professor Javey built the pressure-sensitive skins by rolling a nanowire-coated glass cylinder onto a thin plastic film. This nanowire array is so sensitive, it can detect the pressure of a fly landing atop it. That's something even your own skin fails at from time to time.
Javey's cybernetic skin uses very little power, and can cover a large surface. He hopes that his discovery will help bring a little bit of feeling to prosthetics, or to provide doctors physical feedback for minor surgeries.
[source: Technology Review]